Too Busy For Words - the PaulWay Blog

Tue 16th Nov, 2010

Notup2date

Up2date is the obsolete and badly-designed (IMO) install tool from the early days of Red Hat trying to dig its way out of 'RPM dependency hell'. It's badly designed because all of its sources are in one file (so new repositories can't be added via RPM file easily), it doesn't support mirrors, and it doesn't handle its metadata well. This has largely been fixed with yum, but unfortunately for me I have to manage some systems that do not have yum installed.

Recently I came across a problem where up2date would complain about not being able to download certain headers:

Fetching rpm headers...
There was an error downloading: http://mirror.optus.net/epel/4/i386//headers/nrpe-0-2.12-14.el4.i386.hdr
There was an error downloading: http://mirror.optus.net/epel/4/i386//headers/nrpe-0-2.12-14.el4.i386.hdr
There was an error downloading: http://mirror.optus.net/epel/4/i386//headers/nrpe-0-2.12-14.el4.i386.hdr
There was an error downloading: http://mirror.optus.net/epel/4/i386//headers/nrpe-0-2.12-14.el4.i386.hdr
There was an error downloading: http://mirror.optus.net/epel/4/i386//headers/nrpe-0-2.12-14.el4.i386.hdr
An error has occurred:
exceptions.UnboundLocalError
See /var/log/up2date for more information
When I looked at the web server it showed that this package was an old version. Yet obviously up2date thought it was still there. I tried purging the /var/spool/up2date (aside: spool? WTF?) directory but this didn't change anything. This was the only directory on my machine that had up2date files. Reasoning, therefore, that the problem was in metadata that was on the server, I switched servers (to http://mirror.aarnet.edu.au) and suddenly it worked. Once again the mirror problem comes back to bite (which would be funnier if this post was about vampires).

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